Contact: Cynthia Amon
FIVE TEAMS OF EXPLORERS SHARE $25,000 THROUGH THE GORE-TEXÂ® brand SHIPTON-TILMAN GRANT PROGRAM
For the first time, recipients include two teams using sail power as a key component of their expeditions.
Elkton, Md. â€“ May 15, 2012â€”The adventures of legendary explorers Eric Shipton (b. 1907) and Bill Tilman (b. 1897) were so far-flung that it has been said two-thirds of the Earth is covered with water, the rest has been covered by Shipton and Tilman. The spirit of that statement is true, but at least one member of the team covered more of planet's waterways than most recall.
Together, Shipton and Tilman explored the farthest reaches of the planet earning them a place among the greatest adventurers of this past century. Apart, Bill Tilman became one of the most accomplished deep sea sailors of his generation, using the world's oceans to provide unique access points for mountain climbing.
Whether land- or water-based, the five teams receiving grants through the 2012 GORE-TEXÂ® brand Shipton-Tilman Grant Program, funded by W. L. Gore & Associates, share the spirit of adventure embodied by Shipton and Bill Tilman.
W. L. Gore & Associates, inventors of comfort and protection GORE-TEXÂ® product technology, established this annual grant program in 1990 as a tribute to Shipton and Tilman and their belief that the best expeditions use small, compact teams, and minimize their impact on local populations and ecosystems.
â€œWe live in a time of paradoxâ€”more people understand and embrace mankind's role as caretakers of the planet, but fewer and fewer venture outside their comfort zone to experience the world,â€ said Yvonne Erickson, Gore Marketing Leader. â€œGore hopes the stories of this year's Shipton-Tilman grant recipients inspire more people to take on adventures both large and small, both on land and at sea.â€
The following five teams are receiving grants in 2012:
A Passage Through Ice: Discovering the Changing Arctic, awarded $3,000
Nicolas Peissel leads a team that includes skipper Edvin Buregren, photographer Morgan Peissel and documentary film maker Rana Ghose. The group will be attempting to find a new northern passage through the Canadian Arctic. Extensive satellite images, analysis of meteorlogical trends and careful study of ice charts had led the team to believe that their anticipated route will be partially clear of ice for the first time in history. The team will navigate the small expedition sailboat to the Arctic's most inaccessible points.
Arctic 2012: Tilman Again, awarded $7,000
Rev. Bob Shepton returns to the Arctic to attempt first ascents on sea cliffs including the Impossible Wall and Heavenly Hangover, among others, many accessible only by sailing alongside and starting the climb from the deck. Called â€œThe Modern Tilmanâ€ by Alpine Club President Mick Fowler, Shepton is uniquely suited for an adventure of this type and in this location. The expedition begins with a trans-Atlantic voyage from Scotland to the west coast of Greenland. If ice conditions allow, the team will sail the northwest passage to Alaska after climbing.
First Ascent of El Hermano, awarded $5,000
This expedition is being undertaken by four friends who met in Yosemite. Their experiences on El Cap inspired them to seek out big walls in remote settings and their objectiveâ€”the first ascent of a stunning 4,500-foot wall in the Palena province of Patagonia, Argentina. The team has named the wall El Hermano, or big brother to El Cap. The team hopes to introduce climbing to the area, survey the area for future objectives and help the local community realize the economic impact of climbing.
Cambridge Tien Shan Expedition, awarded $3,000
This eight-climber team of students and recent graduates will attempt the unclimbed peaks of Kyrgyz Ridge of the Tien Shan, Kyrgyzstan. They plan to climb up to ten of the 4,000-4,500m peaks in the region. The team believes that no other climbers have attempted these objectives since the peaks are not high or technical enough to entice the top Russian or international teams to deal with the remote conditions.
Nyegi Kangsang, awarded $7,000
With nearly impenetrable rain forest on one side and the unyielding Chinese government on the other, access to Tibet's Nyegi Kangsang has always been a challenge. In fact, it stands as one of the least explored sections of the Himalayas. Andy Tyson will lead a team into this virgin region and attempt a first ascent of the 6,983m peak of Nyegi Kangsang. The expedition will attempt to complete some unfinished business for Tilman. The legendary explorer came to the area to climb but narrowly escaped with his life after contracting malaria.
About the GORE-TEXÂ® brand Shipton-Tilman Grant Program: Applications are accepted from small, unencumbered teams of friends with daring and imaginative goals. The expedition team must plan to accomplish their feat in a self-propelled, environmentally sound, and cost-effective way.
The application deadline for the grant is March 1 of each year. An independent judge reviews all applications and looks for projects that exemplify the Shipton-Tilman philosophy. Teams receive a grant ranging from $1000 to $10,000.
About W.L. Gore & Associates: With more than $3 billion in annual sales and approximately 9,500 employees in 30 countries worldwide, W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc., provides diverse, high-performance solutions in consumer, industrial, electronic, medical, and surgical markets. As well-known for its unique corporate culture as for its products, Gore's 50-year success story rests equally on product and organizational innovation. Perhaps best known as the inventors of expanded PTFE (ePTFE) and the makers of GORE-TEXÂ® fabric, Gore is a leading manufacturer of thousands of advanced technology products that comprise a breadth of capabilities.
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